Battersea Park School boys clinched silver at the London Youth Games Schools Basketball Finals after a thrilling final against St Bonaventure’s Catholic School from Newham at the SCORE Centre in Leyton on Thursday.
The south London side had earlier finished second in their qualifying group after winning two out of their three pool games, and progressed through the semi-finals after a 35-34 victory over Lampton School from Hounslow.
The final was an end to end affair and going into the fourth quarter St Bonaventure’s only held a three point lead. However the north Londoners picked up the pace in the closing stages, leaving Battersea with no response as they lost the final quarter by 16 points to one, leaving the final score at 43-25 to St Bonaventure’s.
Battersea Park School Team Manager Sarah McDermott was delighted with her team’s performance. She said: “I’m extremely proud of our team, especially as this is the first year that we have got through to the final. I didn’t expect us to get this far, but I’ve got a great set of boys and they’ve been doing brilliantly.”
The boys were following in the illustrious footsteps of NBA All-Star Luol Deng, Team GB captain Drew Sullivan and GB women’s internationals Azania Stewart and Temi Fagbenele, all of whom have competed at the London Youth Games.
“Having people like that to look up to at events like this is great. The boys know that they can actually do it, and get somewhere, as we’ve got people like Drew and Luol Deng out there,” added McDermott.
The Balfour Beatty London Youth Games is Europe’s largest annual youth sports event. A record 104,463 young Londoners took part in the record-breaking 2012 London Youth Games.
The 2013 London Youth Games will be the biggest in history featuring 85 competitions across 33 sports and 27 event days, culminating in finals week at the National Sports Centre Crystal Palace in July where the overall winning borough are awarded the Jubilee Trophy.